Scary Dinosaurs will invade the US! Whedon, Prometheus, and the war on Women [I read stuff]

Wherein I read things, laugh [or not], and pass them on to you…

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I can only imagine how this will terrify those Americans that believed our poppy quarter was some sort of evil surveillance device intended to spy on the Pentagon and anyone else carrying around Canadian change:

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Canada’s Newest Commemorative Coin Features a Glow-in-the-Dark Dinosaur!: Canada has a long and proud history of paying tribute to our important historical events by immortalizing them on our coins. Unlike the U.S.A., we do not put heads of state on our coins, but instead other national symbols. [wired/GeekMom Blog/12 Apr 2012]

Part of the reason I love Joss Whedon:

Heroines and fanfic [How to bring back Firefly in five terrible steps]: When one redditor complained that, during the San Diego Comic-Con Iron Man 2 panel, the only audience comments directed at Scarlett Johansson were “You’re hot,” Whedon responded:

All I can say is that Scarlett gets to do a lot more than be hot in “Avengers”. It’s definitely dispiriting to have a woman play an heroic role and then be reduced to body parts by fan commentary, but that can only change slowly. And is.

And when another asked for his opinion on fanfiction:

All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn’t your pet — it’s your kid. It grows up and talks back to you.

I am Joss Whedon – AMA. [reddit] [io9/Lauren Davis/12 Apr 2012]

Prometheus footage reveals just why our heroes go in search of aliens: Ridley Scott screened some new footage in London this morning, which is said to feature several key expository scenes from the first thirty or so minutes of the film. Here’s how things kick off, according to The Telegraph, which explains just exactly what prompts the movie’s mission in the first place:

We start, from the look of things, with a discovery on the Isle of Skye, in the company of Rapace’s archaeologist, Dr Elizabeth Shaw, and a colleague played by Logan Marshall-Green. It’s a 35,000-year-old cave painting depicting a faraway solar system, including one habitable planet with a moon. Fast-forward to 2093, and these two awake from hypersleep on a 17-man exploratory space vessel, their mission to probe the secrets of LV-223 — which buffs will note is not LV-426, the dread-filled planet from Alien and Aliens.

There’s some disagreement on whether that date is actually 2093 or December 2091, although obviously that’s not too big a difference to worry about. Anyway, IGN describes what happens once people wake up:

The ship’s crew – which includes Shaw and her scientist-boyfriend Holloway – slowly wake from their space-slumber, and we are introduced to Vickers (Charlize Theron), the tough-talking company suit who is leading the expedition for reasons as-yet-unknown.
Vickers then plays a holographic film featuring Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the elderly boss of Weyland Corp., which has funded the mission. Weyland informs the crew that if they are watching the film he is by now dead, introduces them to the ship’s android David (Michael Fassbender) and tells the story of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to man, prompting our own evolution.

It’s also mentioned, in what I think you’d have to consider a rather telling character detail, that Charlize Theron’s character starts doing push-ups the second she wakes up from cryogenic sleep, whereas everyone else vomits quite a bit. There are more details at the links. [Telegraph and IGN]
Memento and L.A. Confidential star Guy Pearce says we won’t see any more viral videos featuring his character, business titan and robotics pioneer Sir Peter Weyland, but the other characters will be getting their pre-movie spotlights:

“You’ve seen everything you’re going to see out of [the TED Talk], but there were some sections of the speech that were trimmed out, just for economics. But there are other viral videos that are going to come out that involve the other characters from the film, with Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender. Mine was just the entrée to bigger and better things.”

He also gave this cryptic hint about his role in the film, which likely refers to the old age makeup implied in the description above:

“It was a difficult time as well, and I won’t explain why [without spoiling the film], but it was quite rigorous.”

[MTV Movies Blog]
Director Ridley Scott was again asked about what rating he hopes the film will get, and he answered with a lengthy rant about the MPAA ratings board and the economics of filmmaking. The upshot is you should probably expect this movie to be PG-13, since he makes it clear that he wants Prometheus to make money:

I want certification for this film that allows me to make as large a box office as possible…The studios wrestle constantly with these ridiculous adjustments to whether it’s PG13, PG15, R, double R and it does, to a certain extent, affect the box office, which is arithmetic, which is not a cash register, it’s how they get their money back and if studios don’t get their money back we don’t have any movies.
And so it is important that films are successful and I am fully supportive of that because I’m not just a director, I’m also not stupid. I’ve been in this business long enough and to a certain extent I’m a businessman. So when a big film fails it’s disastrous for all of us. When a big film wins it’s terrific for all of us, whether you like the film or not, it’s really cool. So the adjustment of the ratings… are inconsistent and ridiculously inconsistent, so I can start talking about films that have got PG13 this year, which are absolutely fucking ridiculous… is anyone in here from the MPA or whatever it is? …Get your house in order.

[Bleeding Cool] [io9.com/11 Apr 2012]

Ashley Judd Slaps Media in the Face for Speculation Over Her ‘Puffy’ Appearance: The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.
…That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. [emph mine] It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women. [thedailybeast/Ashley Judd/9 Apr 2012]

Romney Camp Fumbles Equal Pay For Women Question: Mitt Romney’s campaign was asked during a press call this morning if Romney supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which assists women in working to get equal work for equal pay. This bill was the first legislation President Obama signed into law, and conservative Republicans of the sort that make up the GOP base have been agitating for its repeal ever since. The response: “We’ll get back to you.” Somebody on Team Romney realized that this wasn’t the best way to try and prove to women voters that the GOP really isn’t at war on them, so an hour later, they tried again, stating that Romney did after all back the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Of course, this might sound a little more convincing if the Republican female legislators Mitt’s using for human shields, Mary Bono Mack and Cathy McMorris, hadn’t both voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act. It might also have helped a bit if Romney, when he was in Wisconsin cuddling up to the anti-woman Paul Ryan and his bad joke of a budget, had anything besides warm-and-fuzzy words for Scott Walker, who just signed the bill repealing the Wisconsin version of the Lilly Ledbetter Act. [phoenixwoman/11 Apr 2012]

Mississippi Considers Banning Abortions 6 Weeks After Gestation, Even In Cases Where Women’s Health Is At Risk: Lawmakers in Mississippi have resurrected the so-called “heartbeat” bill, a measure which “equates abortion of a fetus with a detectable heartbeat to child homicide.” A physician who performs an abortion where a fetal heartbeat is present “could face the maximum 30 years” and some women would be required to undergo “a transvaginal ultrasound to determine whether a fetal heartbeat is present.”
Under the measure, pregnancies that result from “rape or incest or that would endanger the life of the mother” are exempt from the requirement, but those that would pose health risks are not [thinkprogress/Igor Volsky/11 Apr 2012]

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